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Catholic Ceremony-Non Catholic Bride

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AmberWaves

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Hey everyone. Yesterday FI and I met with the Father at the Catholic School FI works for and was raised in. We have decided to marry in the church, and I''m happy with that. The only "rough" spot is my lack of religion. I am neither agnostic nor atheist. I was raised this way. Now, as I am going through the book of readings we''ll have, it''s tough trying to find one that isn''t too religious, for myself and the rest of my family who has never been in a church. I''m trying to find a good middle ground and failing. FI wants the wedding to be in the church, and I can give him that- and am happy to. It''s not that I don''t believe in God, I just am so new to this, and everything seems so overwhelming.

Can someone give me some words of wisdom, or maybe suggest some readings? I am literally starting and square one. Thank you.
 

AGBF

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I think that most of the work you will have to do is internal. The Roman Catholic Church has a template for weddings, so the choices you will have to make for the ceremony will be quite limited. I have to go pick up my daughter. I hope to read some more replies to this thread later today or tomorrow when I have more time. Good luck!

Deborah
 

poptart

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Hi Amber,

DH and I weren't married in the Church, but I was raised Catholic and went to a private school from k - 12th, and DH went to the same High School I did from 9 - 12, so I have some background in Catholic Church stuff for sure. My first question is, are you being expected to convert to Catholicism, or are you just physically having the wedding in the church. Because these are two very distinct things... having a wedding in the Church (meaning conversion), or having a wedding at the church, (meaning just in the building). I also thought that there was some requirement for each person to go to retreats and counseling in the Church as well. I agree with AGBF that most of the work you have to do is internal, and searching to see if you can really believe in what the Church has to say. My other advice were would be to stay calm right now and not worry to much about it yet. Your choice of readings probably will be limited since they have certain traditional readings they normally do. Also, are you having a Mass, too? If so, please inform your parents and family that if they are non-Catholic there will be the whole Communion issue, because I know that confused people who were visitors to our Church, since they were not allowed to take part in Communion. That's all I can think of right now, but if I think of more, I'll come back, lol.

ETA: There is that Corinthians passage about "Love is patient, love is kind" but I assume they will already be reading that at the ceremony. It's 1 Corinthians 13:4.
*M*
 

Jas12

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I am just in the early stages of planning my catholic ceremony--the deacon who is in charge of organizing us provided a book that breaks down each step in the ceremony and gives 3 or 4 ''reading'' or ''wording'' options for these steps. Is that what you have?
...it''s actually great b/c it alows us to personalize it a little, without being overwhelmed with organization. I am not big on A LOT of the religious ceremony elements (i am a very liberal person from a roman catholic background) so I am obviously choosing the least traditional/religious/Godly sounding options
, and so far it''s sounding okay. If you already have this document, maybe ask if you can re-word some elements that still bother you?? other than that, I don''t think u can change too much as the RCC is pretty set in its ways and you did chose to marry with them...good luck!
 

AmberWaves

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Thanks everyone. I will not be converting, and we will most likely be forgoing (is that a word?) the communion. The tough part is half of my family is Catholic, and knows what a mass is- but the other side has never stepped in a church. I was given two books: one called, "How to Survive Marrying a Catholic" (no joking) and "Together Forever" which has a variation of readings, and the places they will need to be read. We have to choose them. Since FI has been immersed in the church from Day 1, he knows everything but doesn''t quite know how to explain them. So it''s like feeling my way in the dark. We''re taking an Engaged Encounters class, which is about 9 hours on a Saturday, so I think that''s the counseling.
 

poptart

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Well, if you have specific questions, I would suggest posting them here and maybe have a few people respond to them and see if there is an explanation here that makes more sense to you. Even if you aren''t converting, you should definitely know what''s going on in your own ceremony, and what''s going on with the religion, since it seems to be important to him. I don''t think the Mass will be too difficult for your family to understand, although they will probably give each other funny looks when people start randomly standing, kneeling, sitting, standing, kneeling, sitting, lol! As long as you are sure you can skip the communion, then I agree that might be best, since you wouldn''t be able to take part in it either.

*M*
 

julie_b

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Traditionally, Catholic weddings have readings from the Old and New Testaments, a Responsorial Psalm, and a Gospel reading from the priest...if I''m remembering this correctly. Here are a few reading suggestions:
Old Testament- Song of Songs (Solomon) 8:6-7, Sirach 26:1-4
New Testament- 1 Corinthians: 4-13 (very popular!!!!), Ephesians 5: 25-31, Colossians 3:12-17,
Responsorial Psalm- typically sung, if you''re having a cantor, they should be able to suggestion one for you
Gospel Reading- Matthew 5:1-12, Matthew 5:12-16, Mark 10:6-9, John 15:9-16

Lol, I would''ve been set if we were having a Catholic wedding, but I''m Catholic and my fiance is Baptist. Needless to say, we are having a non-denominational wedding :) Hope these help some!
 

crown1

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i have a thought that may not be acceptable to you but jmho. since you are having the ceremony in the church to honor you fi and since he is very involved in the church would it be acceptable to you to let him choose the readings? if you are ok with that maybe you could just say honey i trust you and you have more understanding here why don''t you make the selections.
 

AmberWaves

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Thanks for the input! I really appreciate all the help, since I am so new to this. I''ve chosen (mentally) some readings that I would like to hear/say, and I think I''ll see what he chooses as well. Thanks so so so much.
 

jcrow

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here''s our selections:

Processional
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, Bach
Canon in D, Pachelbel
Trumpet Voluntary, Purcell

Opening Prayer


First Reading by Name
Tobit 8:5-7
Responsorial Psalm by Name
Psalm 145:8-9, 10, 15, 17-18
Second Reading by Name
1 Corinthians 12:31-13:8a
Gospel Reading
Mark 10:6-9

Exchange of Vows


Blessing and Exchange of Rings


Closing Prayer


Presentation of Roses
Ave Maria, Schubert
Recessional
Hornpipe from Water Music, Handel

~~~



 

Logan Sapphire

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I''m a practicing Catholic but my husband doesn''t belong to any organized religion. When we got married, we didn''t have a full Mass, so no Communion in order to be more inclusive. If you''re not doing Communion, I don''t believe you''ll have to deal with the whole kneeling thing (which though my husband goes to church with me, he doesn''t kneel either). In our ceremony booklet (which listed the order of things, bridesmaids, music, etc) I think we included directions at the appropriate time, such as Sit or Stand, etc. That might be helpful.
 

VRBeauty

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I've attended church more or less regularly for most of my life, but I've gone to weddings at Episcopalian or Catholic churches (for example) not knowing in advance what to expect! Discrete "prompts" in the program re things like sitting, standing, responsive readings etc. would probably be appreciated by a lot more of your guests than you realize. Having said that, I think most people who attend a wedding in a church expect that there will be some religious elements. Would you feel comfortable discussingthe choice of readings, and your concern about making the guests who don't normally go to church feel comfortable, with the priest who will be performing your ceremony?
 

allycat0303

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Hey Amber,

Well my fiance is catholic and I''m not (I''m sort of distant non-practicing Mormon, although in reality I don''t believe in anything). That being said we will get married in catholic church too. I''ve always been fascinated by the catholic church, their rituals, tradition and history so I''m going in with the mindset that this is going to be a learning experience. I think the most important thing is not to get too overwhelemed. I think catholics are used to having non catholic members present for a marriage ceremony, so I wouldn''t worry so much about your family doing a misstep or something. Don''t put too much pressure on yourself at this point, you''ll get through it.
 

AmberWaves

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Hi Everyone. I''ve been going over and over the possible readings- trying to find the least saturated ones there. I''ve sent emails to my non-religious family members, and have gotten a few responses back about how it''s not a big deal, and they''ll support me. I must explain that we were raised more as spiritualists, if that is such a thing. So getting an email from my far away brother (Sydney, AU) about how people will go because they love us, and if they don''t- who wants them, made me feel so much better. I really really agree that I''ll need to put the sit/stand/kneel information in the program. I barely even know.

A few questions for those of you who know: what are the differences between a mass and communion? What are the "gifts" we need to give and why? Do we have to say the lines about raising our future children in the Catholic church? I''ll ask FI about this, but he has been so stressed out at work, and won''t be home until later tonight. I know I also need to talk to the Father, and I will. It''s just so many questions.

Thank you all.
 

jcrow

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Date: 3/21/2007 10:49:39 AM
Author: AmberWaves
Hi Everyone. I've been going over and over the possible readings- trying to find the least saturated ones there. I've sent emails to my non-religious family members, and have gotten a few responses back about how it's not a big deal, and they'll support me. I must explain that we were raised more as spiritualists, if that is such a thing. So getting an email from my far away brother (Sydney, AU) about how people will go because they love us, and if they don't- who wants them, made me feel so much better. I really really agree that I'll need to put the sit/stand/kneel information in the program. I barely even know.

A few questions for those of you who know: what are the differences between a mass and communion? What are the 'gifts' we need to give and why? Do we have to say the lines about raising our future children in the Catholic church? I'll ask FI about this, but he has been so stressed out at work, and won't be home until later tonight. I know I also need to talk to the Father, and I will. It's just so many questions.

Thank you all.
i'm catholic and fi isn't. he was raised baptist but distance himself from it. anyway... we married in the cathedral but didn't have the mass. we both didn't want the mass.

i'm going to try to help with your questions, though i may have it all wrong... this is my understanding...

mass incorporates communion in it. so, if you have a mass, you have communion.

our church just asked us to state our intentions. this was of course prompted by the priest (and he told us our lines prior). there were three questions. 1- did you come here freely (meaning no one is forcing you to marry) 2- do you want children and want to bring them up catholic (not that he said it in those words, but that's what he meant) 3- question three i don't remember at the moment. . . anyway... these three questions are asked prior to the actual ceremony when we meant personally with father. the three of us talked together and then we were questioned separately on these issues. and after the questions we had to sign our name on a sheet saying he asked us these things. again, each church may be different. this was our experience.
 

AGBF

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Date: 3/21/2007 10:49:39 AM
Author: AmberWaves
Do we have to say the lines about raising our future children in the Catholic church?
Yes. From the fact that you are asking this question I am assuming that your fiance has not asked that you do that.

My brother and I were raised in a home with spirituality and humanism, but very little formal religion or religiosity. (Our parents raised us as Unitarian-Universalists and then, later, became Quakers themselves. Neither religion has much pomp or ritual.)

My brother married a Catholic woman in the Catholic Church. He agreed to raise his children as Catholics and has never interfered, although he did not go to church with his wife and children. He always supported their Catholic rituals: First Holy Communions, Confirmations. Given his own beliefs, I think it must have been very hard for him, but he and his wife discussed the issue for years before deciding to get married. He went into this knowing what he had made a bargain to do.

I hope that your fiance''s expectations of you are very clear, too. I wish you the best of luck.

Deborah
 

eks6426

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I''m not religious at all either and I had to come up with bible versus for my 2005 wedding. I found a number of websites that let you search on keywords for bible versus. You might try those...it was easy. I came up with this one.

Romans 12:9-18 (New International Reader''s Version)
9Love must be honest and true. Hate what is evil. Hold on to what is good. 10Love each other deeply. Honor others more than yourselves. 11Never let the fire in your heart go out. Keep it alive. Serve the Lord. 12When you hope, be joyful. When you suffer, be patient. When you pray, be faithful. 13Share with God''s people who are in need. Welcome others into your homes. 14Bless those who hurt you. Bless them, and do not call down curses on them. 15Be joyful with those who are joyful. Be sad with those who are sad. 16Agree with each other. Don''t be proud. Be willing to be a friend of people who aren''t considered important. Don''t think that you are better than others. 17Don''t pay back evil with evil. Be careful to do what everyone thinks is right. 18If possible, live in peace with everyone. Do that as much as you can.
 

AGBF

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Communion in the Roman Catholic Church (and the Eastern Orthodox Churches) involves taking a wafer or piece of bread into your mouth in the belief that it has undergone transubstantiation by the priest and become the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ during the mass. Notice how careful Roman Catholic priests are with what remains of the host after communion. They believe they are handling the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ.

Lutherans, the first Protestants, believed that when someone received communion from a priest or minister he received a wafer or bread but that when he did so, the spirit of Jesus Christ was present: consubstantiation.

Calvinists, the forerunners of out United Church of Christ/ First Cogregational Church of Every Village, USA, did not believe that priests or ministers could invoke the spirit of Jesus at their whim. They believed that when someone received communion he commemorated the Last Supper when Jesus gave his followers Passover wine and matzoh and told them to drink and eat it.

Deborah
 

kev_800

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I wouldn''t stress too much about it... the priest is the one who runs the show. Confide in him, he will be your friend throughout the process. He will expect you to read through the new testament to pick out readings, but that could be fun, too.

The catholic marriage rite is filled with deep symbology and mysticism and is a very neat thing to be involved in.

If you wish to include a more spiritual element rather than christian element to your wedding, following the mass, instead of a prayer before the meal, you could read a passage from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran...
 

jcrow

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and the gift bearers bring forward the bread and wine.

also, our priest gave us a sheet of passages to chose from. he told us one from the new and one from the old testament and showed us which was which. he also gave us a sheet to chose our Responsorial Psalms from. and a sheet of music choices as well as a cd of the exact music to listen to.
 

AmberWaves

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Thank you all so much!! While I wasn't raised with a clear notion of Catholicism, my mother was brought up Catholic. My fiance knows that while I am a bit unknowing about the Catholic church, I would never interfere with his choice to be Catholic. We haven't quite decided how to raise the children, but I would like to learn more about what exactly we would be signing on to. I think that while I don't really feel uneasy about choosing to raise the children catholic, I DO feel uneasy about stating this fact in front of the whole procession. I'm not quite sure why. My parents have had some tough experiences with Catholicism, and I think they would be a little "worried" (for lack of a better word) to hear me essentially promising our children to the church. They are very distrusting when it comes to religion- jaded, if you will. My fiance knows this, and we talk about it constantly. The Father even asked us about our choices, and I told him the truth. That while I would like our children to be brought up knowing the rites, history and faith- I must learn more before I can definitely say yes, I would like to raise our children this way. Believe me, I don't take this lightly, even though kids are a few years off- it's a little daunting to agree to something that isn't even possible yet.

Forgive me if I seen wary or scared- this is a big step for me, and I want to treat this with a modicum of responsiblity.

Again, thank you all so much for helping me learn and think.
 

jcrow

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i'm glad you are getting so involved and that you want to make the right choice for you and your soon to be family.
 

Logan Sapphire

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Amber- when I got married, my husband did NOT have to promise to raise the kids Catholic, although I did (I didn''t have to sign anything; I think it was just a verbal conversation). In fact, the priest made it quite clear that the onus was on me as the Catholic and not at all on my Protestant husband. And there was no mention of this during our wedding- all of this was discussed prior to the ceremony in meeting with the priest. I don''t know if it depends on the priest or diocese, but honestly, most of my friends are Catholic and I don''t remember any of them promising to raise their kids Catholic during their weddings.
 

poptart

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Date: 3/21/2007 11:42:19 AM
Author: AmberWaves
Thank you all so much!! While I wasn''t raised with a clear notion of Catholicism, my mother was brought up Catholic. My fiance knows that while I am a bit unknowing about the Catholic church, I would never interfere with his choice to be Catholic. We haven''t quite decided how to raise the children, but I would like to learn more about what exactly we would be signing on to. I think that while I don''t really feel uneasy about choosing to raise the children catholic, I DO feel uneasy about stating this fact in front of the whole procession. I''m not quite sure why. My parents have had some tough experiences with Catholicism, and I think they would be a little ''worried'' (for lack of a better word) to hear me essentially promising our children to the church. They are very distrusting when it comes to religion- jaded, if you will. My fiance knows this, and we talk about it constantly. The Father even asked us about our choices, and I told him the truth. That while I would like our children to be brought up knowing the rites, history and faith- I must learn more before I can definitely say yes, I would like to raise our children this way. Believe me, I don''t take this lightly, even though kids are a few years off- it''s a little daunting to agree to something that isn''t even possible yet.


Forgive me if I seen wary or scared- this is a big step for me, and I want to treat this with a modicum of responsiblity.


Again, thank you all so much for helping me learn and think.
I think it''s great that you are putting so much thought and care into your future children. DH and I were raised Catholic, although we are both non-practicing, but we haven''t really discussed if we want to raise them in the Church (but probably not at this point in our life). I would only say be very sure that it''s ok with you to bring your children up a certain religion, no matter what it is.

*M*
 

dmamsquared

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Ask the officiant to verbally prompt the attendants and tell him why. This would not be done during a typical Sunday Mass, but an interfaith ceremony is a different scenario. Read over your options and go with the ones that suit you. The same with the music. I personally feel that choice is not always a good thing. More options create more deliberation and indecision. Praying in front of the blessed mother (ave maria) lighting the unity candle, and offerring a rose to each mother are rituals that you can pick and choose. It adds to the ceremony. Ours was an interfaith ceremony a long time ago. The priest was concerned about two things: Could my intended provide verification that 1) He had never been married. and 2) That he was a baptized Christian. Since I am the Catholic, I had to agree to raise our children Catholic. Of course he had to go along with that premise way before we met with the priest. Religion is an important dynamic and it certainly can be an obstacle for compatability. Keep the dialogue open. And whatever you do, don''t feel any pressure to convert. Religion is a personal choice and should not be selected out of coersion. Just my two cents for what it''s worth!
 
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